Review 2102 : Saturnalia Temple – Paradigm Call – English

The return of Saturnalia Temple is confirmed by a new album.

Created in Sweden in 2006 by Tommie Eriksson (vocals/guitar, The Nest, Lapis Niger, ex-Therion), the band is now completed by brothers Gottfrid (bass) and Pelle Åhman (drums), both former members of In Solitude. In 2024, the trio unveil Paradigm Call, their fourth album, released by Listenable Records.

Drakon opens the album with a slow, disquieting first riff, haunted by a few backing vocals that eventually fade out to let Revel in Dissidence create a heavier and more oppressive sound, also incorporating macabre vocal parts. The steady heady rhythm hypnotizes us while remaining groovy thanks to the saturated Stoner roots, also injecting more soaring leads that become haunting on the final, leading us to Paradigm Call, the dark eponymous track, and its suffocatingly hoarse vocals. The addition of effects makes the mix terribly eerie while creating a contrast with the psychedelic harmonics, then vocals become much more menacing on Among the Ruins, a more energetic composition that doesn’t hesitate to play on unexpected rhythm changes and jerky riffs to surprise. The band slows down again with Black Smoke, a track that gradually envelops us in its hazy rhythm before releasing its mad leads at high speed, then draping them in a strange electric saturation before getting heavier on Ascending the Pale, while retaining its mysterious tones. Harmonics once again disturb the track’s gloomy quietude, taking the place of raw lyrics as they lead us into Empty Chalice, a slightly livelier and shorter but just as thick track that will easily make our skulls wag, then the album ends with the deafening sounds of Kaivalya, an instrumental composition that doesn’t hesitate to let the guitar experiment enigmatically, at times almost approaching the hoarse sound of a saxophone.

Although the line-up has been reshuffled, Saturnalia Temple retains the unique touch of madness that is their strength. Paradigm Call will undoubtedly appeal to the widest possible audience, provided that thick saturation doesn’t scare you.


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